The NFL’s Rooney Rule states that NFL teams must interview minority candidates for head coaching positions and senior football operation jobs. A move by the NFL that is mainly an attempt to create more diversity in an area where white males traditionally have dominated.
There were 15 head coaching and senior football operation openings this off-season. With that many opportunities and the rooney rule in place, assuredly there were minority hires in at least once instance…right?
Sadly, no. And Carolina Panthers head coach Ron Rivera let it be known that he finds the lacks of minorities, “disheartening.”
Per Jonathan Jones of the Charlotte Observer:
“I’ll give you a name, Perry Fewell,” Rivera said, referring to the Giants defensive coordinator. “He’s a great coach and I really think he should have been in the cycle.”
Fewell did not even get interviewed this off-season.
“This guy went to the Super Bowl last year and helped design a [heck of a] defense,” Rivera said. “Sometimes you do sit there and go, ‘Wow, some guys do get overlooked,’ and it’s happened to me, too. Hopefully Perry will have a great opportunity next year.”
I can’t help but agree with Rivera on this one.
The more interesting aspect of this, at least in my eyes, is who exactly do you blame? Because from the NFL’s point of view, they can’t force teams to hire a minority coach. And with the rooney rule, obviously they want to see more diversity.
But if owners aren’t willing to take a chance, nothing will change. And if this off-season is any indication, the owners are firmly stuck in their ways.